I recently hosted a baby shower for one of the graduates of the Milagros Day Worldwide Bootcamp and Transformation Academy. As we celebrated one of our sisters’ rite of passage into Motherhood, it was SO beautiful to experience first-hand the community we had created.
This was no ordinary baby shower, it was more like a workshop or seminar: A Celebration of Life! During this celebration, I asked each of the ladies to give some advice, or words of wisdom to the mom-to-be. Surprisingly, one of the most profound comments came from a young lady who was not a mother herself.
She said that motherhood is not about sacrifice, it is about truth. It is about love, it is about doing your best and not judging yourself for not being good enough. WOW. Those words resonated deeply with me and are the context from which I tell you about MY experience of motherhood.
OF THE MANY HATS I WEAR, THE ONE I AM MOST PROUD OF IS BEING A MOM!
I have been blessed with three amazing, handsome and talented sons. They are also my biggest fans and my greatest supporters. My kids and I have had a unique relationship from the very beginning. David Anthony, Maximilian Salvatore, and Dominic Michael.
After losing my own mother at the age of 14, I followed in my mom’s pattern of abusive relationships, and spent seven years in a self-destructive spiral of sex, drugs and hip-hop. At 21, I became pregnant with my oldest son. This was the happiest moment of my life up until then; and I remember saying to my self “Finally, someone is going to love me!”
A baby changes everything, and my son motivated me to be responsible and get a job and be successful, so that I could give him the best example and the best things in life. I did my best. I became a Paramedic, married a man who loved my baby as his own, and started my new life as a MOM.
Without addressing any of my childhood traumas and losses; I took on another set of challenges with a very tense and difficult marriage, and an extremely stressful and demanding job. Through all of this I did my very best to create special memories with my son who was intellectually gifted and at the same, quite a handful. Our best times together were our “Educational Days” where instead of sending him to school, I would take him on day trips around New York City to museums and cultural activities. We had so much fun!
And then my little twins came. Those two little bundles of love. When I would wrap them up in their blankets, I called them “my little burritos”. Having been born prematurely, they each weighed less than five pounds; I was so scared to handle them and was relieved when they had to stay in the hospital for another day. Once at home, I did my best to put a system in place; I color coded them blue and red, and was successfully able to sync their feeding and sleeping cycles.
Things were going smoothly until their second month. Enter COLIC! Not only colic, but colic times two!! My ex-husband and mother-in-law were there to help me, but no amount of vacuum cleaners and home remedies would cure this insane torture of crying babies for hours at a time. My oldest was now 7 years old; acting up, and forgetting our nine-month conversation about him being the big brother, and that it was time to share Mommy and Daddy’s time and attention. This was a crazy house! And I was doing my best. The colic ran its course but my oldest son’s behavior did not.
Over the next 10 years, I continued rising through the ranks of the New York City Fire Department, often working double shifts, and missing family holidays. I was doing my best. My days off were filled with puppet shows, communion classes, counselor evaluations; making homemade chili and throwing the coolest Halloween and Birthday parties.
Still the guilt of not being able to fully be there for my kids, my oldest son getting into trouble at school, and the constant fighting with my husband, compounded the self-judgement of my incompetency as a mother and a wife. So when my twins were 11 and my oldest was 18, my husband and I moved to Pennsylvania in a delusional last ditch effort to save our marriage. A year later, I knew this was a mistake and was ready to move back to New York. Divorce.
By that time my oldest son was already out on his own, and the twins were almost 13. When I told them we were moving back they said NO! They loved their home, and their school, and their town, and their friends. I had dragged them out here, and I didn’t have the heart to take it away from them. So I got an apartment in Queens and began the Long Distance Mom relationship. I did my best.
What ended up happening is that my twins and I created THE most awesome connection. I was still the parent in charge of their grades and in communication with their teachers, I still took them shopping for their clothes, sneakers and glasses; took them to dentist and doctor’s appointments. We would schedule our quarterly trips to anywhere they would choose on the map; Hawaii, Mexico, Disney, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We had so much fun together talking and singing and laughing! I really believe that we had a closer relationship because my boys didn’t take me for granted like most teens do with their moms. Our time together was sacred.
My oldest and I started getting closer as well, because as a young adult he was now seeking spirituality and personal development. It was so awesome to have him attend workshops and seminars with me, and to watch him have breakthroughs and insights of his own. The best thing has been to see him blossom on stage as a phenomenal singer and inspiring speaker.
When I started Milagros Day Worldwide I had an amazing core event staff with my three brilliant sons along with their significant others, cousin and friends. These guys rock!
I am SO Proud, and SO Blessed, and SO Grateful for my three boys. And it is wonderful to know that they are just as Proud and Grateful for me!
Wherever you are right now, reading this story; I invite you to STAND and BREATHE, and SMILE and say to yourself: I DID MY BEST!! I love my kids and my kids love me! I made mistakes, but who hasn’t? I am growing as my kids are growing! I forgive myself! I release myself of guilt! I forgive my own Mom for her mistakes! I am doing my best! I am Love! I am PEACE!!
I invite you to chant these words to yourself for a FULL 24 HOURS!! And then PLEASE let me know what shifts in your mind, in your heart and in your life!!
Speaker, Author, Trainer, Coach
CEO, Rescue Coaching LLC
Founder, Milagros Day Worldwide
Retired FDNY Paramedic/Captain
Become a part of New York City’s
Growing Mother’s Day TRADITION